Gather round, my friends, for I have great news! Fans of edgy yet humorous yet action-packed yet deeply inventive and moving fantasy fiction rejoice! I note that Last Argument of Kings is now shipping from amazon.co.uk. At the time of writing it resides in fact, at an amazon.co.uk sales rank of 12. 1200? No. 120? No. 12. In fantasy? No. In fiction? No. 12, in all books. It is, for this glorious hour at least, amazon uk’s 12th highest selling book. It may also be found in the foremost bookshops of the land, though at this stage probably on trolleys in their stock rooms, rather than actually on the shelves.
What’s that? You need more of me basking in self-aggrandisement? I am to be found discussing the book at the Genre Files, along with such issues as my response to negative criticism (I float effortlessly above it, don’t you know).
Fortunately, no such floating will be necessary with regard to my review in March’s edition of Death Ray, who have rewarded me the bare acceptable minimum of 4.5 stars. Admittedly, they called it “The Last Argument of Kings.” There is no “The”, but I’m pretty sure it is my book they’re talking about:
“Abercrombie is a fantasy writer who can really write. No, really. As with the previous two books, Last Argument of Kings is tightly plotted, has wit and style to spare, and in the barbarian Logen and the Inquisitor Glokta it has two of the best fantasy creations of recent years … Forget the sterile battles of modern fantasy: here we have brutal medieval realism in which bloody teeth fly and guts are clutched at in one of the most heroic sieges since Helm’s Deep.”
Mmmmmm, bloody teeth. There’s an interview in March’s SFX, also, with a full page picture of me, debonairely let challengingly leaning against a whitewashed wall, as I often am to be found doing. They’ve also managed to paint out all my boils and photoshop my missing eye back in. Amazing, what they can do these days. Aidan at A Dribble of Ink has had the honour and privilege of reading the book in advance, and you know what? He kinda liked it:
“Last Argument of Kings is without a doubt the strongest novel in the cycle and, indeed, one of the strongest finishes to a trilogy I’ve come across in a long time. It’s refreshing to find an author who can not only finish a story in three books (a rarity in the fantasy genre these days, it seems) but to also do so in a satisfying manner … The First Law ends much as it begins: raw, gritty and full of humanity.”
Care to put a number on it, Aidan?
“I decided I wouldn’t attach numerical values to my reviews, but if I were to thrust such an arbitrary label upon Last Argument of Kings, it would probably look much like a 9.9/10”
Someone, somewhere, is taking the piss. In all seriousness, the response to the book so far has been extremely gratifying. Numerical ratings are essentially tosh, of course, but (since you ask) the ratings for Last Argument of Kings from blogs and magazines so far have been: 4.5 stars, 4.5 stars, 5 stars, 9.5/10, 9.75/10, 9.75/10, and 9.9/10. Oh, and 8 from Pat, though he shall pay for that slur upon mine honour, oh yes, he shall pay. You can find some details from those reviews here, should you not quite be convinced.
Probably you want to find out what all the fuss is about, hmmmmm?
Now you can, my friends, now you can…